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UPDATE ON COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS IN THE UK

Members Only

As mentioned in our update on Member News earlier this week, the UK Government has recently published its current COVID-19 safety restrictions for England, which have just been passed in parliament and come into effect from Thursday 5th November. In light of this, we wanted to update members on the current situation with regard to herbal practices in each of the four UK nations. The guidance from each government is changing rapidly, and for this reason we have included direct links to the relevant pages for each nation at the bottom of this update.

Current guidance is for people to continue to work from home wherever this is possible. Where local restrictions will allow practitioners to remain open and undertake face-to-face consultations, we have already produced extensive guidance to support members to undertake their own individual COVID-19 risk assessment to determine whether a face-to-face consultation is necessary, and steps to follow to ensure that any consultations undertaken on this basis can be done as safely as possible.

England - The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, which come into effect from midnight on Thursday 5th November, do not include herbal practices in the list of businesses which must close, and the list of business allowed to remain open includes:

Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.

It is therefore our position that, subject to any further amendments to the regulations, herbal practitioners may continue to see patients face-to-face where the practitioner and patient are both satisfied that it is safe and necessary. These regulations expire on Wednesday 2 December, so the situation may change at that point.

Wales – The Welsh Government’s 16 day lockdown lasts until Monday 9th November. This includes the closure of many non-essential services including close-contact services such as herbal practices. Additional guidance on local restrictions is anticipated.

Northern Ireland - The Northern Ireland Government’s circuit break will be in place until Monday 16th November. Close contact services such as herbal practices are not permitted to open, unless they relate to the continuation of essential health interventions and therapeutics. Again, additional guidance on local restrictions is anticipated.

Scotland - National guidelines currently permit the provision of close contact services, including herbal practice. Further guidance on local restrictions is anticipated following the introduction of a more extensive five tier system of alert levels on 2nd November.

We appreciate that these periods of frequently changing restrictions can make it especially unsettling and frustrating when the information needed to ensure that our patients can receive the care that they need is not easily available. If these issues are creating particular difficulties for you, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Visit our Coronavirus Hub

Government guidelines relating to England
Government guidelines relating to Scotland
Government guidelines relating to Northern Ireland 
Government guidelines relating to Wales